Cuts loom at NC State

March 10, 2009 2:48:26 PM PDT
One of the state's best tools for pulling out of the recession is facing the funding ax. NC State University plays a major role in economic development in the Triangle and the state. But, the head of the university says it will have to find a way to continue that role while making dramatic budget cuts.

In his State of the University speech Tuesday, Chancellor James Oblinger said that the school is trying to cut $36 million from its budget, and that means as many as 275 employees will have to go. That number includes faculty and administrative positions.

"As you heard Governor Perdue say last night, there are still many uncertainties about the state’s budget. That means we do not yet have a clear view of how our budget will be affected. One thing that is clear is that difficult decisions will have to be made," he told the audience.

Despite the looming cuts, Oblinger tried to sound a positive note - pointing to the schools numerous accomplishments and saying that the cuts don't mean the university will lose its can do attitude.

"Especially in this time of a challenging economy, what we do and the way we do it is incredibly important. It is up to us as individuals to continually seek opportunities to collaborate, and to push the boundaries of our ability to push the boundaries. People are counting on NC State," he said.

He said the university's mission is too important to let economics drag it down.

"NC State does things that make North Carolina and the world a better place. Each thing we do – each job we create, each program we develop, each student we graduate, each community we help, each example of groundbreaking research --- and certainly in this day --- each dollar we spend, builds on the history, the accomplishment, the success and the importance of North Carolina State University," he said.

Click here to read the full speech (.pdf)


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